Few months back Mr.Kamesh Bavaratnam (@kameshratnam) contacted me through Twitter asking if I had any Gramophone records of Mellisai Mannar (King of Melodies) Thiru M.S.Viswanathan (MSV). That’s how we started one of our many messages over past few weeks. Thanks to an invite from him I went for today’s Relaunch event of MSV’s Thrilling Thematic Tunes Album by MSVTimes.com.
I learnt that this Album was originally launched in 1970s during a time when MSV was at his career peak working endlessly on Tamil Film music compositions. HMV had worked with MSV in bringing out this compilation of his individual tracks titled “Thrilling Thematic Tunes”. The album’s LP Record was the first in South India to be made in (then)Stereophonic system. The album contains tracks of varied themes including Reminiscences, Village/Urban divide, War, Train Track, East-West Wedding, Melody & Lord Krishna’s Rasa Leela.
I was born in 1970s, so by the time I started watching Tamil Film’s it was all Ilaiyaraja. Even then I was touched by MSV music. Two of my all time favourite songs are composed by him, one is Romantic “Mannikka Mattaya” (மன்னிக்க மாட்டாயா) from the film Janani (1985) and the other Spiritual “Pullanguzhal Kodutha” (புல்லாங்குழல் கொடுத்த மூங்கில்களே) penned by legendary Kaviarasu Kannadasan. Apart from this I have listened many times his compositions of older movies including M.G.R’s Anbe Vaa (1966), Nagesh starring Kadalikka Neramillai (1964) & Sivagi Ganesan’s Karnan (1964). In latter movies that I probably watched in theatres I like his compositions on Mohan’s Mela Thiranthathu Kadhavu (1986), Kamal’s Simla Special (1982), S.Ve.Shekar’s Manal Kayiru (1982), Rajini’s Thillu Mullu (1981) and Kamal/Rajini’s Ninaithale Inikkum (1979).
Today’s launch event venue was Russian Cultural Hall, Kasturi Ranga Road, Chennai. The event started late by 60 minutes at 7PM instead of 6PM due to late arrival of chief guest who I suppose was delayed by his old age. A video clip of Kannadasan was shown where he recollects his trip with MSV to Afghanistan & Soviet Union, he mentions how MSV mesmerized the audience by his replaying of Russian composer Tchaikovsky when they visited a concert hall in Russia. In today’s event the dignitaries on stage were accomplished octogenarian’s and they recollected fascinating tales about the humbleness & dedication to music by MSV, it was quite an inspiring event.
Saregama have released the entire album in YouTube here, enjoy.
Regular readers of this blog are familiar with my fondness for books and spending lot of money in book fairs. This week in Chennai there is a new book fair titled Chennai Puthaga Sangamam organized by National Book Trust & PSRPI .The venue was YMCA Royapettah (opposite to Royappetah General Hospital) which is different from YMCA Nandanam grounds where annual Chennai Book Fair happens. Today I went to check out this fair which is being held from 18-27 April 2014. The YMCA grounds at Royappetah had sufficient car parking which is rarity now in the city, the hall was less crowded which made it comfortable to check out each stall and the books they carried.
It was pretty much in the same template as Chennai Book Fair with over 200 book stalls, mostly Tamil publishers and local distributors.
I had bought tons of books this January in the Chennai Book Fair 2014, so I tried my best to come out with buying just one book. The book I purchased was Digital Photography by Steve Luck, though its a 2006 edition I got the GBP 14.99 book for a steal at Rs.230 and it was in mint condition.
I was looking forward to the panel discussion today on “Export of IT and ITES – Opportunities & Challenges” organized by Computer Society of India & IEEE Chennai chapters at Hindustan Chamber of Commerce, Greams Road (Opp to Fruit shop on greams road), The panel listed prominent names in Industry and moderated by Mr.S.Mahalingam (Former CFO of TCS):
- Business Opportunities by Mr. K. Purushothaman, Regional Director,
NASSCOM – Tamil Nadu & Kerala
- Challenges & Issues by Mr. K. Senthil Nayagam, Senior Vice President,
Hexaware Technologies Limited
- Enabling Opportunities by by Mr. James Golsen, Principal Commercial
Officer, US Consulate, Chennai, Mr.Golsen couldn’t make it to the event due to an illness and was represented by another officer of the department
- Service Tax Aspects by Mr. K. Vaitheeswaran, Advocate & Tax Consultant
- Income Tax Aspects by Mr. S. Srikanth, Chartered Accountant, M/s. Karpagam & Co
Mr.Mahalingam in his introduction talked about how in 1980s the goal of $50 Million IT Exports from India was considered as a stretch goal, the industry today doing over 100 Billion US Dollars. Mr.Senthil Nayagam touched on the challenges faced today by the IT Industry including shortage of talent pool, attrition and competition from other Asian destinations including Vietnam, Philippines and China for the lower-end part of the business.
Mr.Srikanth echoed the sentiments of the audience when he talked about the challenges the industry faced with prevailing Income Tax policies of Government of India including the long delays prevailing in SEZ benefits that are rightfully due to the promoters and on the TDS (Withdrawal tax) interpretations by the department. Mr.Vaitheeswaran is a tax law expert who I have listened to in many previous occasions, I found him to be a speaker who could cut the chase even on the complex subject he talks on, today too he was in his form. He rightfully pointed out the fruitlessness of having the Appellate level in Income Tax for hearing cases when in reality they always refer the case to Tribunal. He elaborated on the less known facts in the Service Tax rules covering Exports, timely and useful.
Overall the event turned out to be a mixed bag for me with most of the panelists covering on the road travelled whereas I was looking forward to the road ahead. I got a chance to meet half-a-dozen industry acquaintances of mine after a long time. The dinner turned out to be a simple affair but enjoyable and I topped it with a juice mix at the near by Fruit shop in greams road.